Summer Road Trip Through Arizona & New Mexico

Why is summer such a good time for a road trip? To start, if you have kids, this is their vacation time. Usually, it feels like they have too much time off and you can’t find enough ways to entertain them. A road trip is a perfect solution because you’ll have fun, too.

Another reason a summer road trip is so great is you probably won’t have to worry about bad weather. Generally, most parts of the U.S. are sunny and pleasant. Usually, the worst thing that might happen is a heavy rainstorm, and you can just duck out of it by going to a restaurant and having a snack.

Why not hit the desert and guarantee a sunny vacation? The desert is beautiful and there are so many sights to see including:

Grand Canyon, AZ

The king of all road trip destinations. One of the world’s greatest natural wonders is a must-see. Pack a picnic breakfast and get there at dawn for an amazing view of the sunrise lighting up the canyon without the usual crowds. Shoot to get there on a weekday morning and you’ll practically have the place to yourself! Check out El Tovar, the famous lodge on the South Rim that boasts outstanding views and an excellent restaurant.

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park

Monument Valley, AZ

Monument Valley is my favorite place to see out west. The formations really do look a lot like the things they’re named! Take a sunset tour to see the place light up with color – it’s like being in a Technicolor movie, the colors are so intense.

Monument Valley AZ
Monument Valley, Arizona

Prescott, AZ

Get the feel of the Wild West by visiting Prescott’s Whiskey Row, a street lined with saloons and shops. Make sure to belly up to the bar at The Palace, the oldest saloon in the U.S. still in operation.

Prescott’s Whiskey Row
Whiskey Row, Prescott Arizona

Lake Powell, AZ

We went on a white water rafting trip down the Colorado River that ended in Lake Powell, and the lake blew my mind. After all that rushing brown water, we ended up in a crystal clear water-filled canyon! This is a great place to snorkel if you want to check out the underwater canyon.

Lake Powell AZ
Lake Powell, AZ

Carlsbad Caverns, NM

These caverns are amazing and a nice break from all the hot sun you’ll be soaking up on this road trip. Go in the afternoon to check out the caverns and then stay on for the nightly bat flight that features thousands of bats exiting the cave at once. I recommend packing a snack to eat while waiting as well as packing a sweater or jacket as it’s very cool in the cavern and the desert gets cold quickly once the sun goes down. This is not recommended if you’re traveling with children and they are under 3 years old – they can’t go on the guided tours and strollers are not permitted.

Carlsbad Caverns NM
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Route 66, NM

Need I say more? New Mexico has the longest stretch of the famed old Route 66 road that remains as it used to be before highways started taking over.

Travel Route 66

4 Corners Monument, NM

I will never forget being able to stand on four states at the same time. Although this sight seems like it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s still worth checking out for the sheer novelty of it. There is no other part of the US where four states connect.

Four Corners Monument

Share on: